Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Cookie Alert!

Dad has asked that we add a new cookie to the roster. And since we're using his ovens, I am happy to oblige! He spied this new treat, Double Chocolate Cherry Espresso Drops, in the Star Tribune. This recipe took top honors in the paper's annual Cookie Contest. I will be making the dough - just two batches, in case they're not super-delicious. I look forward to tasting these yummy cookies, do you?

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE-CHERRY ESPRESSO DROPS

• 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder

• 1 tbsp. boiling water

• 1 c. flour

• 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 2/3 c. granulated sugar

• 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar

• 1 egg

• 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1/2 c. chopped dried cherries

• 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

• White almond bark for decoration, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix instant espresso powder and water and reserve. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and reserve. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add dark brown sugar and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add vanilla extract and reserved espresso mixture and beat until thoroughly incorporated.

Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Using a 1-inch scoop, drop cookie dough on prepared baking sheets, spacing dough 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; because cookie is very dark, it's difficult to tell if they are overbaked. Watch center of cookies; when they lose their gooey quality, they are done.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. In a microwave oven, or using a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt almond bark and lightly drizzle over cookies, optional.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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